Carol Gostele Retiring from CAST

Carol Gostele has edited countless publications, blogs, newsletters, and other documents for CAST, but around the office, she is most known for her beaming smile and infectious laugh. From the beginning of her “Happy Monday” greeting to her “Happy Friday” end-of-the-week tone, she has approached work and play with a calm, dedicated, fun-loving spirit. CAST is losing its Managing Scientific Editor, and staff members are saying goodbye to a colleague who has added much to a positive, productive atmosphere in the office.

Carol began working with CAST in August 2010, and she immediately faced the challenge of editing a massive task force report called Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Challenges and Opportunities for Agriculture. As she has often noted, “CAST publications might have long titles, but they are known for the solid, science-based information they contain.”

A rough estimate shows that Carol played a key role in 20 issue papers, 10 commentaries, 2 task force reports, 2 special reports, 9 annual reports, and many Ag quickCASTs. She also worked on impact reports, summary of activities reports, the 40th anniversary booklet, and the minutes from numerous work group and board meetings. Add to this list the fact that almost anything that needed an editor’s eye might turn up on her desk. Press releases, conference brochures, important email messages–the Friday Notes editor points out that Carol proofread approximately 412 editions of the weekly newsletter and more than 440 blogs. “We all learned to appreciate accuracy, consistency, and a reverence for The Chicago Manual of Style. Carol also saved us from embarrassment and who knows, maybe legal action. She kept the grammar hounds from our door.”

Along with her editing skills, Carol has been an organizer. CAST publications go through a long, involved process–proposals, discussions, acceptance, task force organization, writing, research, more writing, editing, peer review, more writing, more editing. These stages take months, and Carol was at the center of the action–making calls, writing email messages, meeting writers, and most notably, turning a collection of writing drafts into a blended publication that could inform the public and policymakers about agriculture and science.
CAST EVP Kent Schescke explained the impact Carol has had. “During my four years with CAST, it has been a pleasure and privilege to work with Carol. I have been amazed by her ability to edit documents and her work to manage multiple projects involving vast numbers of volunteers serving as task force chairs, authors, and reviewers. Her dedication is reflected in the quality and professionalism of the CAST publications that have been produced during her time here.”

Although Carol will still do a limited amount of freelance editing work online, she has exciting plans for the next stage. Along with her many hobbies, she plans to visit Arizona often. A certain new-born granddaughter is a key attraction in Phoenix, and Carol is even learning how to play guitar so little Isla will have “You Are My Sunshine” and “Go Cubs Go” on her sing-along-with-grandma playlist.

CAST staff members are sad to see Carol pack up her Chicago Cubs posters and Animal Crackers jar, but they appreciate all she did to make the office a professional, congenial place. They also know that no matter where she goes or whatever day it is, Carol will always make it a “Happy Friday.”

by dan gogerty 

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